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Cheetah enclosure rebuilt after run of escapes

After a run of great escapes from the cheetah residents of Salzburg Zoo, the big cat enclosure has been rebuilt in an effort to prevent further breakouts.

For the third time in two years in April a cheetah broke out from the enclosure, managing to crawl through a pond, scale a wall and climb under an electric fence to freedom.

"Ginger" the female cheetah left two cubs behind as she went for an adventure around the Salzburg's tourist attraction, only to return after ten minutes back to the enclosure. But that was not before she was spotted having a curious wander around by visitors enjoying a day at the zoo, who quickly raised the alarm.

Her easy escape came as even more of a surprise to zoo keepers as the enclosure had already been renovated - at the cost of over 200,000 EUR - into a "ultra-modern, absolutely safe, animal enclosure" following earlier breakouts in the summer of 2012.

Now, further safety precautions have been introduced, including a second electric fence and a deeper pond, at the cost of 60,000 EUR.

Big cat experts were brought in to recommend changes to the enclosure, including European Endangered Species Program Coordinator and cheetah expert Lars Versteegde.

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